No. 6 Borden County closes with 11-0 run over final two minutes

ABILENE — With two minutes remaining in the Region II-A semifinals Friday night at Abilene Christian University’s Moody Coliseum, the No. 22 May Tigers appeared on the verge of a spot in the Class A Elite Eight.

A pair of free throws by Kase Cox with 1:51 left staked May to a seemingly comfortable 36-30 advantage over the No. 6 Borden County Coyotes. But more than 25 percent of Borden County’s offensive output for the entire game followed in the final 100 seconds, as the Coyotes stormed back for a 41-36 victory.

“We battled, but we made a few mistakes at the end and that’s the way it is,” May head coach Steve Howard said during a postgame radio interview on KOXE. “You can’t just play 30 minutes, you have to play all 32.”

The Coyotes closed the game on an 11-0 run, taking the lead for good, 37-36, on a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left. Borden County led for just over 60 seconds during the entire contest, owning a brief 11-10 advantage early in the second period.

A three-pointer by Easton Edwards with 1:05 to go turned the tide in Borden County’s favor, as May’s lead was reduced to a single point, 36-35. The Coyotes then sank six consecutive free throws to close out the contest, while the Tiger offense went cold down the stretch.

“We win games with our defense and we were in the game tonight because of our defense,” Howard said. “But their shooters came through at the end and hit a few.”

Wyatt Mote led the Tigers (21-6) with 16 points followed by 10 from A.J. Martin, five from Cox, three from Jacob Brown and two points from Gage Keckler.

The Coyotes (21-3) received 13 points from Trace Richey and 10 from Edwards.

May led by as many as seven points on multiple occasions, the first coming after Borden County took its short-lived second-quarter lead. The Tigers answered with eight straight points — capped by three-pointers from Brown and Mote — to open an 18-11 advantage.

At halftime, the Tigers owned an 18-13 edge and through three periods May was in front 29-24.

“Our kids battled and made it to the regional tournament, and I’m very proud of them,” Howard said of his squad, which finished second in the District 15-A race.